Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Pregnancy: the 2nd time

 Being pregnant the second time was in many ways the same and in many others different. I still got lucky with almost no nausea during the first trimester, just a queasy feeling when I went without eating for a long time, for which healthy snacks (apples, bananas, yoghurt with granola) were the solution. I craved orange juice, salmon, enchiladas verdes, steak. I think I threw up only once. The constant tiredness was the same, maybe even more, with a toddler added to the mix. I remember coming home from work, having dinner, showering and going to bed at the same time as little Yu.

I started showing a lot earlier though. I think the body just "remembers" and everything gets pushed upwards and outwards almost immediately. I started wearing my maternity jeans sometime around week 10 or 11 because I just did not want to deal with tight waistbands. On my first pregnancy I was still wearing the loosest of my jeans up til week 28 or something.

I was a lot more achy this time though. I started having round ligament pain pretty much since the beginning. I also had a lot of trouble sleeping and felt some kind of weird pain in one side of my pelvis. I believe it was pelvic girdle pain (formerly known as pubic symphisis dysfunction), but the pain was not located in the center of the pubic bone, rather on one side, so maybe it was some weird muscular pain due to everything being stretched.

In terms of managing the pregnancy, since Yu was born quite early (at 34 weeks) I was considered high-risk and handled by the gynecology department of the hospital. My cervix was measured at different stages, to determine its length and possible weakness and to consider a cerclage. In the end it was not needed because my cervix was in the correct size range. I was also monitored closely: for diabetes, anemia, etc (not routine tests in every pregnancy within the Dutch healthcare system). Moreover, from weeks 10 to 36 I had weekly injections of progesterone, which seems to have an effect in preventing preterm birth. 

After Yu's unexpected early arrival we did not know what to expect in terms of when our second girl would come. Reaching 34 weeks was a relief. It coincided with the week I started maternity leave. From then on, we knew what to expect and we were glad for every week that passed. My mom arrived when I was 36 weeks and 5 days. At that point on one of the prenatal checks we saw the baby's head was way up high in my abdomen (from being down and close to engage in every other appointment) so they turned the baby (the procedure is called an External Cephalic Version) and luckily it went well. We also found out that our baby was measuring slightly above average and that I had a lot of amniotic fluid (polyhydroamnios) without any explained reason.

And then we waited, and we waited, and we waited. I reached full term (38 weeks), I reached 39 weeks, and then 40. I was feeling Braxton Hicks and every now and then a slight cramp, but then it would stop. I had swollen feet, but was otherwise feeling ok, still energetic, still walking a lot. In the end our girl was born at 41 weeks exactly. I never thought I would be overdue, at that point we were so eager to meet her already. I was also afraid she would be too big and that birth would become difficult. I will write the story down as soon as I get a moment.

This time I really wanted to document the pregnancy: knowing this might be our last, and haven't been able to do so last time, we did a pregnancy photoshoot. We hired Erika Bourne Photography, and we loved the results. She made us feel comfortable and the whole process was easy and enjoyable.

I was also very grateful that my closest friends organized me a baby shower, which I also wasn't able to have last time. I felt so blessed and overwhelmed by everyone's kindness. I am still in awe that our little girl is here, that we are a family of four.


  1. Congrats!!!Beautiful pictures and a nice recap of your pregnancy. Looking forward to the birth story!


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